RACC Blog

Creative Work Is Work

Creative Economy Revitalization Act

Art has the power to remind us of all we have in common. It’s what turns a group of individuals into a community. As our nation recovers from the pandemic, the Creative Economy Revitalization Act (CERA) offers an opportunity to put Americans to work creating art that brings our communities together.

Our creative sector is a critical and robust part of our economy. As Oregon and the U.S. begin to recover from the pandemic, we have a responsibility to lift up those who were hit the hardest. This includes our creative workers and the communities they serve. Through the Creative Economy Revitalization Act (CERA) we have the opportunity to put Oregonians to work creating art that unites our communities. In a time when our nation is divided, the diversity of our cultures, as well as our differences and overlapping shared experiences, binds us together.

On a teal background in black letters: $.83 of every dollar invested in an artist is reinvested in local economies.

The Creative Sector Drives Travel, Tourism, and Hospitality
$.83
of every dollar
Invested in an artist is reinvested in local economies in the form of supplies, rentals, supplemental hiring, and other expenses that would not occur without that initial investment
$31.47 Average amount each arts attendee spends beyond the ticket cost on meals, retail, parking, lodging, local transportation, childcare, and souvenirs. That’s over $100 billion each year to support local merchants, energize downtowns, and pay salaries and wages in non-arts sectors directly due to cultural events.

 

 

The creative economy drives our community’s economy! If our local creative economies collapse or are unable to effectively restart, communities across the country could face economic catastrophe, with an even more difficult time recovering and restarting. The 675,000 small businesses within the creative economy anchor highly interdependent local commercial ecosystems that create and sustain retail, restaurants, hospitality, tourism, and transportation. Of those, more than 9-in-10 are solo entrepreneurs. Previously, those businesses employ as many as 5 million people – over a third are independent or gig workers (more than 3.5 times the national average).

Who are Creative Workers?
You probably know a creative worker, now! There are 5.1 million creative workers in the U.S., as identified by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. A creative worker is anyone who earns income from creative, cultural, or artistic-based pursuits, whether they earn that income independently (as an independent contractor, solo entrepreneur, or gig worker, for example) or via an employer. Creative workers use the unique human quality of individual expression to produce ideas, content, goods, and services.

As outlined in CERA, job titles that fall into the “creative worker” category include: art director, artist, animator, sculptor, writer, author, poet, photographer, musician, singer, producer, director, actor, announcer, storyteller, comedian, dancer, architect, designer (of any type), programmer, choreographer, technician, backstage or behind-the-scenes staff, curator, or other support staff who make creative work possible.

Creative workers pictured above selected from our “Capturing the Moment” call for artworks of all media created during 2020 pandemic.

On a teal background in black letters: 76% of artists have used their art to raise morale and create community cohesion during the pandemic

Creative Workers and Businesses Stand Ready to Aid Recovery
76% Of artists have used their art to raise morale and create community cohesion during the pandemic.
83% Of creative workers are ready today to put their creative practice to use as part of the national recovery.
89% Of arts nonprofits boosted morale through their art during the pandemic.

 


Creative Workers to Help Community Recover
CERA is a $300 million program that will mitigate creative worker displacement, stimulate local creative workforce growth, strengthen connections for local creative small businesses and networks, create a pipeline for new creative jobs, enrich communities, increase access to culture, and invest in creative workers and local economies that have been harmed by COVID-19.

The presence of arts and culture sparks additional spending on local businesses, restaurants, and hotels. It can increase property values, improve education outcomes for students, boost community pride and social cohesion while inspiring political and social activation. In addition to driving 4.3% of the country’s gross domestic product, arts and culture have significant local economic, social, and individual impact.

At the height of the pandemic, two-thirds of all creative workers (2.7 million people) were completely unemployed. Today, creative workers are 3-4 times more likely to be unemployed compared to the national rate. Nationally, creative economy jobs dropped by 53% between the end of 2019 and the middle of 2020, and have only recovered about half of that to date. The emergence of new variants of COVID-19 continues to threaten the fragile, partial re-opening of the creative sector that has begun. CERA seeks to employ artists/creatives and strengthen local economies by incentivizing investment in civic infrastructure fueled by creative workers and a recovering creative workforce.

CERA calls for the authorization of $300 million to the new grant program to be housed and administered at the Department of Labor, with advice and collaboration from the National Endowment for the Arts. The grants will go to local, state, and tribal agencies, workforce investment boards, and public or private nonprofit entities that can hire local creative workers and produce creative projects that meet local needs and priorities. These projects could include public artworks, festivals, performances, written works, anthologies and narrative collections from first responders and historically marginalized communities, and arts education work.*

*Adapted from creativeworkers.net

Click here to send an Action Alert to your representatives telling them to co-sponsor and vote for the Creative Economy Revitalization Act.

Read our previous blogpost about CERA.

#regional411
#artsadvocacy
#ArtsHero
#WPAForTheArts
#PutCreativeWorkersToWork
#CreativeWorkers
#CreativeEconomyRevitalizationAct
#AFTA

Reference Links
www.creativeworkers.net


Here and There – Artist Mural Talk with Daren Todd and Jaque Fragua 10/21

Graphic image with information about Here and There artist mural talk on Oct. 21HERE AND THERE is series of conversations between Portland muralists and muralists based in other parts of the country. An online community-centered event, this discussion series hopes to serve as both an education tool for aspiring and working muralists and a point of connection for the broader community to relate more fully with the art that surrounds us. This month’s conversation is the last leg of our 3-part series.

It features artists Daren Todd (Portland, OR) and Jaque Fragua (Tuscon, AZ). Join us to listen, ask questions, and learn!

Thursday, October 21 at 6 p.m.  Streaming virtually on YouTube and Facebook.

STREAM ON YOUTUBE HERE.

Register here.


Northwest artists anchor inspiring new public art collection

Dozens of artworks from regional artists purchased or commissioned for Central Courthouse

With the new collection of public art at Multnomah County’s stunning new downtown courthouse, artists show their deep roots to community, identity, and history. New art surrounds the building’s exterior, including lively vignettes depicting local landmarks made from cut steel panels and temporary murals made by youth and local artists. Inside, artwork enhances the building’s dramatic city views. Clusters of works in various styles and media are on display in the service areas and hallways. A massive 25 by 75-foot mural made of kiln-formed glass glows in the main lobby at 1200 SW First Ave. in Portland.

A compilation showing a selection of artworks from the new County Courthouse.

Selected artwork from the public’s new collection is on display at the Multnomah County Central Courthouse. Starting top left, works by Barbara Earl Thomas, Greg A. Robinson, Lynn Basa, Natalie Ball, Adriene Cruz.

Our Public Art Program commissioned or purchased 47 individual pieces from 20 individual artists (complete list below) for the courthouse. The selection panel identified four themes for the courthouse artwork: “community,” “land & water,” “traditional,” and “contemporary crafts.” By intentionally selecting artists with a range of ages, genders, backgrounds, and identities, the new collection reflects the diverse communities living and working in and around Oregon. Artists offer visual connections from the courthouse to the immediately surrounding city environment and many identifiable landmarks throughout Multnomah County and well beyond. Social, political, and environmental themes emerge through artists’ interpretations of the Northwest landscape, individual stories, and depictions of their communities. The artwork features traditional and contemporary media including photography, wood carving, fiber arts, painting, and even garbage. Artists from throughout the Pacific Northwest were selected for the commissions including residents of Seattle, Snohomish, Vancouver, Eastern Washington, Warm Springs, Chiloquin, Milwaukie, Portland, and more.

Officially opened Oct. 5, 2020, public events were delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic and have not been rescheduled. Due to health and safety concerns, visitors are not encouraged at this time. Find all the art and information about the artists online at raccpublicart.com.

 

Art Highlights from the Courthouse

Artist Barbara Earl Thomas stands in front of a intricate steel cut panel. She has short-cropped hair and wears a chartruse colored scarf draped over her shoulders against a black shirt.

Paper cuts by Barbara Earl Thomas were transformed into steel panels wrapping the building’s exterior

“Postcards” from Multnomah County – Exterior Panels by Barbara Earl Thomas
Seattle-based artist Barbara Earl Thomas describes her images as “postcards sent to friends.” The 33 stainless steel exterior panels crafted from her original cut paper works feature Multnomah County’s history and landscape. Thomas explains, “I think of my paper-cut images like postcards sent to friends. They mark the high points of my journey and the notable history I want to share.” Four of the original paper cuts appear on Floor 12. Read more in this Q & A with the artist.

Glass Mural by Lynn BasaUntitled
Hanging in the light-filled entry area, Lynn Basa’s original encaustic painting was translated into a massive 25 by 75 foot mural by local glass fabricators Bullseye Studio. The studio spent three years meticulously planning and fabricating 120 individual large glass panels capturing the rich colors and texture of the original artwork. The colorful mural helps welcome visitors into the entry area’s three-story atrium. In this video, the artist describes her approach to the commission and how conversations with people impacted by the court system influenced her approach to the artwork. “Where there’s art there’s hope,” she says. “It’s a sign of life going on.” She intended the piece to represent the rippling passage of time and to “evoke feelings of hope, possibility, and transformation.”

Courthouse or Art Gallery? Floors 8-17
Visitors to the courthouse come for many reasons, experiencing a range of emotions. Recognizing that some visual images and themes can evoke strong reactions, artists selected for the project were asked to consider the circumstances of these families and individuals when creating their work. Themes chosen for the interior artworks: “Community”, “Land + Water”, “Traditional + Contemporary Craft” ensured that the art would engage visitors on different levels and deeply resonate with many people.

Large panels depict a group of animals dressed as people.

Originally from Mali in West Africa, Portland artist Baba Wagué Diákité uses art to tell stories.

The whimsical panels of various animals dressed in colorful business and casual attire in Reflection of Nature by Baba Wagué Diákité located on Floor 15 embody his attention to the perspectives and needs of all courthouse visitors – including children. Diákité described his characters as friendly creatures who, “find common ground so that we can be at peace as one.” He depicts the sky brightening moving from the gray rain to a bursting yellow sun as the characters seemingly move through the land and seasons.

Yakama artist Toma Villa’s enormous carving was selected to reflect the curatorial theme “Traditional + Contemporary Craft.” It is created of old growth yellow cedar and titled “There Was Once a Time.” In his artist statement, he writes, “The story is of a river so abundant with fish, you could walk across on the backs of salmon.” He describes how the imagery of this story always stuck with him, despite being been passed down orally. “Although many families on the river are familiar with it, the image itself has yet to be represented physically,” he adds. Woven into the concept of the abundant fish is a story of two native brothers who must race across their backs to settle a dispute. The winner gets to take the truck into town to sell the fish while the other one stays home to fish from the platform. Although the lively Columbia River is an anachronism in the story, the bridging of two eras helps preserve and represent the history of the land and waters in the area, a theme repeated in other artworks. The 5-foot diameter carving hangs on Floor 15.

See the full collection.
Additional artworks will be purchased to rotate through the courtroom in the future.

Love and Justice – Temporary Exterior Murals

Artist Jose Solís stands in front of a mural with the words spread love in white letters on a black background. He is holding a paintbrush and container with paint.

Muralist Jose Solís was tapped for two murals

Temporary murals were unplanned additions to the building exterior. While construction wrapped up and the opening delayed due to COVID-19 restriction, local artists Rob Lewis and Amiri Rose were commissioned for a series of murals covering the original historic windows on the Jefferson Station building on the southwest corner of the courthouse block. Muralist Jose Solís  painted the temporary murals.

Multnomah County Circuit Judge Melvin Oden-Orr was preparing to move into the new County Courthouse when art began popping up around the city in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. He thought the imposing plywood walls protecting the north side of the courthouse along Southwest First Avenue represented an opportunity to break down an entirely different set of barriers by amplifying the voices of young artists.

The judge began hosting conversations in fall of 2020 with youth from organizations across the Portland metro area. Together they explored the judicial system, racism and injustice, citizens’ roles in democracy, and how to actively engage in resisting and dismantling systems of oppression. As part of these conversations, Judge Oden-Orr invited the youth to create art reflecting their feelings, experiences, and hopes for the future. The goal, Judge Oden-Orr said, was “to engage the youth of Multnomah County, celebrate the opening of the new Central Courthouse, and create a visual representation of the aspirations for the court system, from the perspective of our young people.” Judge Oden-Orr’s vision set in motion a collaboration and Solís was again contracted to transform the students’ designs into murals.

You can read more about the project and partnerships here: https://racc.org/2021/03/03/aspirations-for-justice-public-mural-created-by-multnomah-county-youth/

Courthouse artists

Natalie Ball
Lynn Basa
Michael Brophy
Adriene Cruz
Jeremy Okai Davis
Baba Wagué Diakité
Robert R. Dozono
Maria T.D. Inocencio
Yoshihiro Kitai
James Lavadour
Rob Lewis
Brenda Mallory
Ryan Pierce
Lillian Pitt
Greg A. Robinson
Mark R. Smith
Barbara Earl Thomas
Rubén Trejo
Toma Villa
Heather Watkins

Artist Selection Panel
A panel of local artists, curators, community members and county staff worked together with the RACC team for several years to select, commission and purchase these artworks for the Courthouse as part of the County’s Percent for Art requirement. The requirement sets aside two percent of the construction budget of public buildings for artwork that all the community can access. From the beginning of the committee’s discussions, racial equity and sensitivity to visitors most impacted by the criminal justice system was at the forefront in terms of commissioning permanent works.

  • Cheryl Albrecht, Circuit Court Judge
  • Christine Bourdette, artist
  • Nathan Orosco, artist
  • Emily Seltzer, Deputy Public Defender
  • Steve Simpson, architect, SRG Partnership
  • Rebecca Stavenjord, Multnomah County
  • Sharita Towne, artist
  • David Wark, architect, Portland Design Commission, RACC Public Art Committee

The Regional Arts & Culture Council acquires and cares for Multnomah County and the City of Portland’s publicly owned art. RACC Project Manager Peggy Kendellen managed the process of acquiring this collection for the Multnomah County Central Courthouse. She retired in 2020.

For more information about the Central Courthouse Project visit Multnomah County’s Central Courthouse FAQ page.


What is the Creative Economy Revitalization Act (CERA)? Why Do We Need It?

The Creative Economy Revitalization Act (CERA) will help communities recover by putting creative workers to work across the country—if it becomes law!

“Creative workers have been some of the most severely impacted by the COVID pandemic. At the height of the pandemic in 2020, 63% of creative workers experienced unemployment, translating to over 2 million Americans. The creative economy is essential to the U.S. economy. Our country exports art, music, and film to the entire globe…. Since the start of the pandemic, the U.S. has lost an estimated $15.2 billion in the arts and cultural sector alone. Just as important as these livelihoods, is the well-being of the communities they serve. The pandemic has not only affected individuals and families, but eroded our social fabric as people were unable to gather, to mourn, and celebrate together, to support each other and their communities in person.”
– Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández

On September 28th, U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) led a group of his colleagues in introducing the Creative Economy Revitalization Act (CERA). U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), and Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) are co-sponsors of the legislation. In August, U.S. Reps Teresa Leger Fernández (D-NM) and Jay Obernolte (R-CA), introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 5019. Read the press release.

In September, the U.S. Conference of Mayors adopted a resolution in support of the Creative Economy Revitalization Act. More than 175 organizations endorsed the legislation, including the Cultural Advocacy Coalition of Oregon, Tualatin Valley Creates, and the Regional Arts & Culture Council to name a few locally.

To rebuild and reimagine our communities, Oregon, and the nation, must put creative workers to work.
Pledge YOUR support for creative workers here by contacting your legislator today!

Oregon’s Creative Economy is Big Business
The creative economy is big business in Oregon. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis, the creative sector is among the most heavily impacted nationally and locally. Direct investments in the arts will not only improve the health and recovery of our communities, but the broader economy as well – boosting tourism, travel, and spending at hotels, local businesses, and restaurants.

Teal blue square. Black lettering reads creative workers in Oregon. 69,549

OREGON’S CREATIVE ECONOMY*
$9.1 billion Generated in Oregon by the creative economy.
3.6% Percent of Oregon’s annual economic output from the creative economy.
11,606 Creative businesses in Oregon.
69,549 Creative workers in Oregon.

 

Bright orange square with black letters reads lost revenue for creative economy businesses in Oregon in 2020. Black numbers $1.6 BILLION

COVID-19 HAS DEVASTATED OREGON’S CREATIVE ECONOMY*
$1.6 billion Lost revenue for creative economy businesses in 2020 in Oregon (est).
70% Oregon creative businesses were severely impacted.
43,332 (64% unemployed) Creative workers made unemployed in Oregon.
$1.1 billion Total loss of revenue for creative workers in Oregon in 2020 (est).
$15,069 (a 40% loss/person) Average loss of creative revenue per creative workers in Oregon in 2020.
63% Creatives in Oregon now have no savings.

*Source – Americans for the Arts

How CERA works
The Creative Economy Revitalization Act (CERA) will create a workforce grant program within the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, putting creative workers back into jobs.  The Department of Labor, in coordination with the National Endowment for the Arts, will administer the grants to eligible government, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations. Priority will go to creative workers who became unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Creative Economy Revitalization Act will require that grantees create art that is publicly accessible to the entire community such as free concert series, large-scale murals, photography exhibits, published stories, or dance performances. It is modeled on the WPA Federal Project One which hired creatives across the country as the U.S. recovered from the Great Depression.

To rebuild and reimagine our communities, Oregon, and the nation, must put creative workers to work.
Pledge YOUR support for creative workers here by contacting your legislator today!

Resources
https://www.americansforthearts.org/sites/default/files/pdf/2021/covid-19-one-page/State_One_Sheet_OR.pdf

http://www.creativeworkers.net/

#regional411
#artsadvocacy
#ArtsHero
#WPAForTheArts
#PutCreativeWorkersToWork


Regional Arts & Culture Council Announces Leadership Transition

MEDIA CONTACT
Heather Nelson Kent
Communications Manager, Regional Arts & Culture Council
503-823-5426
hnkent@racc.org


Executive Director Madison Cario Departs for Bay Area Arts Enterprise

The Board of Directors of the Regional Arts & Culture Council announced today that Executive Director Madison Cario will depart on December 3rd to serve as CEO for both the Minnesota Street Project and the Minnesota Street Project Foundation in San Francisco. The Board and senior leadership are developing a transition plan to ensure smooth operations at RACC.

“The RACC Board is grateful for Madison’s leadership especially as we worked to meet the arts community’s needs during this devastating global pandemic,” said RACC Board Chair Nathan Rix. “Madison brought great vision and organizational capability to RACC, allowing us to be responsive, focus on equity, and strengthen our work with key stakeholders. The organization is well-positioned to lead and support Portland’s ever-evolving and growing arts community.”

Board Chair Rix outlined the transition plan in a meeting with RACC team members and board members on Wednesday. “We’re already mapping out our next steps for executive leadership and will be seeking community input and working with our stakeholders moving ahead,” he said.

The organization stands in a strong position having recently reorganized and realigned to better meet community needs, and secured funding and long-term partnerships, including a 3-year contract with the City of Portland, along with annual contracts with Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington counties and Metro. Under Cario’s leadership, the organization diversified its funding, securing grants from national, state, and local foundations, corporations, and private donors.

“My time in Portland has been meaningful and I am incredibly proud of how we rose to the challenges of this pandemic, responded to social justice issues and the needs of our community over the past three years,” said Cario. “RACC, and the communities we serve, will always have a vocal advocate and ally in me.”

The shutdowns and social distancing requirements caused by COVID-19 significantly impacted the arts community and artists across the region. The RACC leadership team, led by Cario, was instrumental in a statewide advocacy campaign that secured $50 million in federal CARES Act funding for arts organizations and venues across the state. Ultimately, RACC was tapped to administer millions in CARES funds to artists and art organizations. RACC distributed $13.2M through a new partnership with the Multnomah County Cultural Coalition; $2.5 M for local performing arts venues, and $190,000 in grants from the City of Portland’s CARES allocation designated for local Black, Indigenous, and artists of color.

“In my nine months as Arts and Culture Commissioner, I’ve enjoyed working with Madison tremendously,” said Commissioner Carmen Rubio, who serves as the city’s liaison to RACC. “They helped Portland’s arts and culture community through the challenges of COVID and being more inclusive of more artists in our community. Their time in Portland has left our city, and our city’s arts and culture community, better, and I wish them well in their next steps.”

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An independent nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, we support greater Portland’s creative economy by providing equitable funding and services to artists and art organizations; managing and growing our diverse, nationally acclaimed public art program; and developing long-lasting public and private partnerships. For more information visit racc.org

 


RACC Board of Directors Confirm Statues Should Not Be Returned

RACC Team and Public Art Committee to outline next steps for community review process

Today the Regional Arts & Culture Council Board of Directors endorsed a recommendation that toppled and removed monuments not be returned to their previous location and to inform City officials of this recommendation. The recommendation not to return statues to their previous location does not mean that works will be permanently removed from the City of Portland’s public collection. The statues include: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt: Rough Rider, Harvey Scott, and Promised Land. City officials have decided that Elk will return to downtown Portland.

RACC’s Public Art Committee (PAC) made the recommendation not to return the five statues to their previous locations. The committee oversees and guides Public Art Program policies for the selection, placement, and maintenance of works of art acquired through the Percent for Art Program and other public/private programs RACC manages. The committee is made up of artists, art administrators, and community stakeholders. The PAC recommendation is consistent with recent action by the Portland City Council recommending new public art representing more diverse cultural identities and histories for the South Park Blocks. The George Washington statue cannot be returned to its former site as that site is privately owned and the owners do not wish to have it in that location anymore.

The recommendation not to return these statues to their previous locations raises the question of what happens next. Should the monuments be assigned a new home? Should all of them remain in the public collection? According to RACC’s Public Art Program policies, consideration of these questions requires meaningful community engagement. The Board directed the RACC team and PAC to come back to them at a meeting in October with a process for engaging stakeholders in a conversation about what happens next with each statue.

How can the community get involved?
Community engagement and stakeholder input are part of the process. Follow this link to provide input. Sign up for RACC’s online newsletter to be notified of future engagement opportunities at www.racc.org/about/newsletter/

Public Art Program Background
The Public Art Committee, in consultation with city leadership, reviewed the Public Art Program policies and criteria as they relate to donation and deaccession of memorials, monuments, and statues. The PAC updated those policies to align with RACC’s mission, vision, and values and the City’s value of antiracism. The updated policy states that public artworks can be removed if the “subject or impact of an artwork is significantly at odds with values of antiracism, equity, inclusion.” They also expanded circumstances that can lead to the removal of a piece of artwork, if it becomes a rallying place for “gatherings centered on racist or bigoted ideology.” RACC’s board endorsed the policy changes in May 2021.

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An independent nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, we support greater Portland’s creative economy by providing equitable funding and services to artists and art organizations; managing and growing our diverse, nationally acclaimed public art program; and developing long-lasting public and private partnerships. For more information visit racc.org

MEDIA CONTACT
Heather Nelson Kent
Communications Manager, Regional Arts & Culture Council
503-823-5426
hnkent@racc.org


Next steps for toppled and removed monuments – FAQ

Updated following RACC Board Action 9/29/2021

What is the status of statues that were removed or toppled in 2020 protests?
The statues from the City of Portland’s public art collection are secured in a temporary storage facility. This includes: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt: Rough Rider, Harvey Scott, Promised Land and Elk.

Will these statues be returned to their former locations?
RACC’s Public Art Committee (PAC) oversees and guides Public Art Program policies for the selection, placement, and maintenance of works of art acquired through the Percent for Art Program and other public/private programs RACC manages. On Wednesday, Sept. 29 the RACC Board endorsed the Public Art Committee’s recommendation not to return these statues to their previous locations (excluding the Elk) and to notify City officials of the recommendation. The recommendation is consistent with recent action by the Portland City Council recommending new public art representing more diverse cultural identities and histories for the South Park Blocks. The George Washington statue will not return to its former site as that site is privately owned and the owners do not wish to have it in that location anymore.

What happens next?
RACC’s recommendation to the City Council sets in motion a process for considering next steps. Should the monuments be assigned a new home? Should all of them remain in the public collection? According to RACC’s Public Art Program policies, consideration of these questions requires meaningful community engagement. Each of these statues has its own unique story and engagement may vary depending on the stakeholders.

What about the Elk statue?
City officials have determined separately that the Elk will return to downtown Portland. The project details, budget and timeline are being developed.

RACC’s Public Art Committee revised policies regarding the donation and removal (deaccession) of art from the public collection. What were the major changes?
The committee, in consultation with city leadership, reviewed the Public Art Program policies and criteria as they relate to donation and deaccession (removal) of memorials, monuments, and statues. The PAC updated those policies to align with RACC’s mission, vision, and values and the City’s value of antiracism. The updated policy states that public artworks can be removed if the “subject or impact of an artwork is significantly at odds with values of antiracism, equity, inclusion.” They also expanded circumstances that can lead to the removal of a piece of artwork, if it becomes a rallying place for “gatherings centered on racist or bigoted ideology.” RACC’s board endorsed these changes in May 2021.

What happens to a statue if a determination is made to remove it from the public art collection?
If a decision is made to “deaccession” an artwork (remove it from the collection), it could be traded or sold, returned to the donors, recycled or destroyed.

How can the community get involved?
Community engagement and stakeholder input is required as part of the process. Follow this link to be notified of engagement opportunities and provide input.


Here and There – Three Conversations with Mural Artists

We are thrilled to introduce HERE AND THERE, a new series of conversations between Portland-area muralists and muralists working outside of our region. This three-part series, unfolding monthly through  October, hopes to serve as both a professional development opportunity for aspiring and working muralists and a point of connection for our communities to relate more fully with the art that surrounds us. Join us to listen, ask questions, and learn!

Check out the second in our fall series of conversations between Portland-area muralists and muralists working outside of our region. Next up, a virtual conversation between local muralist Alex Chiu and Brooklyn, NY artist Katie Yamasaki. Join us to listen, ask questions, and learn!

Thursday, Sept. 23, 6 p.m. Free of charge.
Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/here-and-there-a-mural-conversation-series-alex-chiu-and-katie-yamasaki-tickets-169675942311

How are artists today helping us understand our place in time? Kyra Watkins and Cece Carpio explored this question, and others, along with our Public Art Senior Specialist Salvador Mayoral IV in the first our series on August 27. You can hear more from these two artists – one from “Here” and the other “There” – by watching the video recording. Here’s a link to the full video: https://youtu.be/c9uSGdWYIK8 

Watkins, who is based here in Portland, plainly shares her point of view. “As artists we are historians,” she says. “We capture the moment. We canonize what’s happening in time. There’s the text but there’s also the visuals and we’re in charge of setting that.” Follow Kyra Watkins @hernamewaskyra.

Self-described “visual storyteller” Cece Carpi, who is based in Oakland, CA explains why she focuses on “everyday people” in her work. “We are worth the attention,” she says. “Our stories are magic.” Follow Cece Carpio @cececarpio.

 

Our three-part series wraps up in October. It’s an opportunity to hear from working muralists and connect with our communities. Learn about their practices and the role of artists and artmaking in a time of change.

October 21, 6 p.m. Watch for sign up details.